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Neil Rogers Sendoff Raucous, In Character

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WILTON MANORS (CBS4) — It was a raucous sendoff for a South Florida radio icon that some called a “god”.

Neil Rogers, 68, was memorialized Friday after he died Christmas Eve after a battle with progressive health problems including vascular dementia.

The service, held at the Center for Spiritual Living, 1550 Northeast 26th Street in Wilton Manors, was followed by cocktails at the Manor Entertainment Complex, 2345 Wilton Drive.

The party was sometimes bawdy and lively according to those that attended.

As reported by CBS news partner The Miami Herald his attorney and long-time friend Norm Kent, said it was exactly the type of event that Rogers would have shunned, making the situation ironic to those in attendance.

Kent reminds Rogers fans that there was a lesson in his message.

Kent said earlier in December, “As you remember him, recall what he used to say- ‘It’s only a radio show.’ Hopefully, in those hours on the air he taught all of us to press on in our daily lives with an abiding sense of wit and humor.”
Hank Goldberg, a legendary sports radio commentator who now works for ESPN, said he met Rogers when he was suspended for his radio gig.

“I think one of the reasons for his popularity is that he went after the boss everyday,” Goldberg said. “Everybody likes to go after the boss everyday so people in a way could relate to that. He got away with it too.”

The attendee list reads like a South Florida Who’s Who with Rogers’ longtime producer Jorge Rodriguez, Rick Shaw, Suds Coleman of Rick & suds and Ernie Sochin, vice mayor of Cutler Bay, among others.

“Unless you tried to do what Neil did, you couldn’t appreciate how brilliant he was,” Sochin said.

(© MMX CBS Television Stations. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

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